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North Penn-Liberty Falls to St. John Neumann in D4 Class A Title Game
The last two seasons the North Penn-Liberty Mounties had their eyes on winning a District IV Class A championship. After an early round loss last year and a 4th place finish that was their primary goal entering the 2020-21 season. After finishing 13-2 and capturing their second straight NTL Small School Division championship the Mounties found themselves again with the #1 seed in the Class A division.
This year they won their opening semi-final game against Lourdes Regional and squared off with St. John Neumann in the championship game at Williamsport High School on Thursday, March 11. The end results was not how the Mounties wanted it to go, however, as they fell to Neumann 82-53 to end their season.
The Mounties struggled early on as Neumann capitalized off turnovers, but eventually the nerves subsided. After trailing 8-2 Colton Litzelman hit a three to pull Liberty within 8-5 at the 5:05 mark. Liberty kept battling on the back of Brandon Thompson, who scored 10 points in the quarter, to pull back within three points late. As the quarter ended Kevin Alexander sank a buzzer-beating shot off a Derek Litzelman assist to make it a one-point game, 19-18.
Things continued to look good for the Mounties as they tied the game up on a Noah Spencer foul shot. The shot was also the 1,000th point in Spencer’s career. A few moments later the Mounties took the lead, and traded the lead with Neumann until the 3:32 mark when Davion Hill broke a 25-25 tie on a mid-range jumper. From that point on Neumann held Liberty to just two points the rest of the half, and kept them scoreless until the 5:00 mark of the third quarter, to build a 20-point differential.
Once the Mounties scored their first basket of the quarter, they did manage to put up 18 points, led by another 10-point quarter from Thompson. It was too little, to late, though as Neumann 62-45 after three and then 82-53 at the end of the game.
Brothers David (27) and Davion Hill (33) led Neumann on the offensive end scoring a combined 60 of the team’s 82 total points.
Thompson led North Penn-Liberty with 22, Litzelman finished with 12, and Spencer chipped in 11. Derek Litzelman added 5 and Alexander added 3 off the bench.
St. John Neumann will now take on either the District II or XI champion in the PIAA Quarterfinals on Friday, March 19 at a site and time to be determined.
The Mounties finish the 2020-21 season with a 14-3 record, a NTL Small School Division championship, and Class A runner-up.